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The peace is palpable.  I loved it, needed it, relished it. It is so like the peace I experienced in Assisi. St. Louis area private retreatant
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Chiara Center was the perfect place for our women's retreat.  It created a deep sense of communion and peace among us. We were truly able to experience our retreat theme
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Chiara Center Events

Chiara Center sponsors opportunities for spiritual enrichment and faith development. Retreats, days of quiet, Food and Faith series, and collaborative programs uplift and enlighten hundreds of guests each year. We invite you to look at the listing to learn more about the possibilities that await your spirit. Please click here for our 2019-20 brochure.

 

   
 
     
     

      
JANUARY

Companions on the Journey
January 6, 2020 - 11:30 AM

Companions on the Journey is the name of a new lunch-time gathering for seniors held monthly to promote positive social connections, offer an array of speakers on relevant spiritual topics and to encourage people to enjoy the beautiful spaces at the Chiara Center. Following a delicious lunch, speakers will offer a 15-20 minute presentation and discussion period. Participant are then welcome to stay for the duration of the afternoon to walk the grounds or to visit any of the spaces such as the magnificent Church of St. Francis that characterize this as a place of peace and quiet reflection. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

Please click here for a brochure.
 

Tai Chi Classes
January 9, 16, 23, 30, 2020

Instructor Cindy Cannamela will offer the practice of Tai Chi which bringstogether mindful, gentle, and circular movements that are performed with a relaxed tempo. During the experience, mind, and body become more integrated while helping to improve balance, strengthen and mobilize joints and muscles, lower heart rate, and boost the immune system. Participants will learn how to access maximum vitality through this mindful attention to posture, movement, breath, and awareness that can be performed sitting or standing. Each session is four classes and will be offered on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Please click here for a brochure and reservation form.
 
Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

Cost is $60 for four-class session or $17 drop-in fee.
 

Ah Day of Quiet
January 13, 2020

Throught the year, we reserve a day for you to come to Chiara Center and reflect on God's goodness in life. Arrive at 9:00 a.m. and leave by 3:00 p.m. refreshed and filled with peace. The day includes a delicious lunch. Massages and appointments with spiritual directors are also available and are requested at the time of registration.

If you unable to attend on these dates, you may arrange your own day of quiet. Please contact us.

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.


Food & Faith Dinner Series
Oh, the Red Folks and the Blue Folks Should Be Friends
January 23, 2020 - 6:00 PM

With the presidential election-year soon upon us, tensions will be high as opinions stoke the fires of intransigence. St. Francis of Assisi was known to have jumped in the middle of a feuding crowd in Siena and managed to bring about peace. We will follow his example by welcoming two leaders from the Illinois political realm who are willing to engage in dialogue that acknowledges the good in the other’s political party. We will name our speakers later this year

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

     
FEBRUARY

Companions on the Journey
February 3, 2020

Companions on the Journey is the name of a new lunch-time gathering for seniors held monthly to promote positive social connections, offer an array of speakers on relevant spiritual topics and to encourage people to enjoy the beautiful spaces at the Chiara Center. Following a delicious lunch, speakers will offer a 15-20 minute presentation and discussion period. Participant are then welcome to stay for the duration of the afternoon to walk the grounds or to visit any of the spaces such as the magnificent Church of St. Francis that characterize this as a place of peace and quiet reflection. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

Please click here for a registration form.


Spirituality in Recovery Retreat: The Next Step                                                 
February 21-23, 2020


We are pleased to welcome back our recovery retreat team that is eager to journey with those who are ready to face and dealtheir addictions. We view the recovery from addictions as a spiritual process that restores one to a right-relationship with their higher power, themselves and others. Through the course of this weekend, participants come to realize that their disease is but a means to healing, restoration and wellness.

Cost for this event is $199 overnight and $110 commuter

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.


MARCH

Companions on the Journey
March 2, 2020 - 11:30 AM

Companions on the Journey is the name of a new  lunch-time gathering for seniors held monthly to promote positive social connections, offer an array of speakers on relevant spiritual topics and to encourage people to enjoy the beautiful spaces at the Chiara Center. Following a delicious lunch, speakers will offer a 15-20 minute presentation and discussion period. Participant are then welcome to stay for the duration of the afternoon to walk the grounds or to visit any of the spaces such as the magnificent Church of St. Francis that characterize this as a place of peace and quiet reflection. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

Please click here for a brochure.


Death Café 
March 3, 2020
10:30 am or 7:00 pm

At a Death Cafe people drink tea, eat cake and discuss death. As strange as such a gathering might seem, our aim is to increase awareness of death in order to help people make the most of their (finite) lives.

You might be surprised to know that there are Death Cafe groups happening all over the world. These operate well because it is a group-directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is important to know that this will be a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session. Also, there is no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action.

Facilitating the discussion are Jan Conrady, a spiritual director  who serves as a Deaconness at Grace Lutheran Church in Springfield, Illinois and Dan Frachy, Program Director for the Chiara Center and spiritual director. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$10 per person.


Ah Day of Quiet
March 10, 2020

Throught the year, we reserve a day for you to come to Chiara Center and reflect on God's goodness in life. Arrive at 9:00 a.m. and leave by 3:00 p.m. refreshed and filled with peace. The day includes a delicious lunch. Massages and appointments with spiritual directors are also available and are requested at the time of registration.

If you unable to attend on these dates, you may arrange your own day of quiet. Please contact us.

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

 
Conscious Aging Group
March 12—April 30, 2020
AM session: 9:30-11:30 AM
PM session: 2:00-4:00 PM

This program by the Institute of Noetic Sciences welcomes aging adults to discuss these outcomes:

  1. To explore unexamined and self-limiting beliefs, stereotypes, and assumptions about aging to make better choices about our world view on aging.
     
  2. To develop self-compassion to cope more effectively with change, worry, and stresses.
     
  3. To discover and reflect on what’s given heart and meaning to your lives and how this informs our intention for our aging process.
     
  4. To enhance connection and reduce isolation from others by understanding the shared humanity that we have in our aging process.


RuthEllen Davis, recently retired, served as a board-certified chaplain for 17 years and as the Associate Director for the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis for 13 years.

$160 per person (eight-week session).


Building a Monastery of the Heart
Weekend Retreat
March 20-22, 2020

How can we experience the peace and prayerfulness that exists in monasteries?

A growing number of people are rediscovering a 6th century text known as The Rule of St. Benedict. With its emphasis on listening, community-and-consensus-building, hospitality, humility, simplicity, prayer, and praise, the monastic Rule offers timeless wisdom and practices for living a more balanced life. Using video, music, photography, writing, and discussion, we will explore how we can become an everyday contemplative. This is a retreat for both the spiritual seeker and those who already have a faith tradition. The Retreat also includes the experience of Compline (evening chanted prayer) in St. Francis of Assisi Church.

Judith Valente is an award-winning author, poet, essayist, and former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, PBS-TV, and the Central Illinois NPR affiliate GLT Radio. She has spent the past 10 years immersed in how to live monastic values and employ contemplative practices in daily life. She is the author of two collections of poetry and four books on how to live a more reflective life, including How to Live: What the Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community; and the anthology, Twenty Poems to Nourish Your Soul.

$265 for overnight and $175 for commuter per person.
 
 

Food & Faith Dinner Series
Climate Science and Climate Spirituality: A Rapproachment with Sister Earth
March 26, 2020 - 6:00 PM

St. Francis of Assisi wrote the Canticle of the Creatures to celebrate his vision of a kinship among all things. Today, that kinship has given way to estrangement and so our task is to seek to be reconciled with Sister Earth, our Mother. Katharine Hayhoe will visit us via on-line while Sister Sharon Zayac, OP will be in the room to weave the science and spirituality of climate change and care for the earth.

Katharine Hayhoe is a climate scientist whose research focuses on understanding what climate change means for people and the places where we live. She is a professor at Texas Tech University, hosts the PBS series Global Weirding, and has been named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People and Fortune’s 50 World’s Greatest Leaders.

Sharon Zayac, OP is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield whose work at Jubilee Farm, a 164-acre center for ecology and spirituality, enables her to travel to inspire a deeper implementation of Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical Letter, On Care for our Common Home (Laudato Si').

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

APRIL

Tai Chi Classes
April 2, 9, 16, 23, 2020

Instructor Cindy Cannamela will offer the practice of Tai Chi which bringstogether mindful, gentle, and circular movements that are performed with a relaxed tempo. During the experience, mind, and body become more integrated while helping to improve balance, strengthen and mobilize joints and muscles, lower heart rate, and boost the immune system. Participants will learn how to access maximum vitality through this mindful attention to posture, movement, breath, and awareness that can be performed sitting or standing. Each session is four classes and will be offered on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Please click here for a brochure and reservation form.
 
Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$60 for four-class session or $17 drop-in fee per person.


Companions on the Journey
April 6, 2020 - 11:30 AM

Companions on the Journey is the name of a new lunch-time gathering for seniors held monthly to promote positive social connections, offer an array of speakers on relevant spiritual topics and to encourage people to enjoy the beautiful spaces at the Chiara Center. Following a delicious lunch, speakers will offer a 15-20 minute presentation and discussion period. Participant are then welcome to stay for the duration of the afternoon to walk the grounds or to visit any of the spaces such as the magnificent Church of St. Francis that characterize this as a place of peace and quiet reflection. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

Please click here for a brochure.
 

Spirituality in Health Care Conference
Intergenerational Collaboration Fostering Communities of Caring
Date: TBD

This annual conference, co-sponsored by Chiara Center and Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), addresses where God may be found in health care, how to be faithful in the midst of suffering and tremendous change, and how to find transcendent meaning in the health care profession.

Reservations required.


April 28, 2020
Japanese Tea Ceremony
7:00 PM

Come experience the beauty of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony near the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. Chado, or the way of tea, is one of the most ancient and revered arts of Japan. Tea Master Kimiko Gunji, from the Japan House at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will serve four individuals a bowl of matcha tea while the other participants observe and later enjoy Japanese sweets prepared by attendants from the Japan House. We will select four names from those indicating a willingness to be part of the actual tea ceremony. All participants are asked to dress appropriately for spring conditions. In the event of inclement weather, this will be held in Bonaventure Hall at Chiara Center.

Kimiko Gunji was Professor Emeritus of Japanese Arts and Culture in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, having taught there since 1979.  She holds an Ikenobo Ikebana instructor’s degree and her Ikenobo designated name is Kiyomi (??She also holds Chamei: Soki(??) from the Urasenke Tea School.

$15 per person—Limit 40 participants

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.
 

  MAY

Ah Day of Quiet
May 12, 2020

Throught the year, we reserve a day for you to come to Chiara Center and reflect on God's goodness in life. Arrive at 9:00 a.m. and leave by 3:00 p.m. refreshed and filled with peace. The day includes a delicious lunch. Massages and appointments with spiritual directors are also available and are requested at the time of registration.

If you unable to attend on these dates, you may arrange your own day of quiet. Please contact us.

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

JUNE

Companions on the Journey
June 3, 2019

Companions on the Journey is the name of a new  lunch-time gathering for seniors held monthly to promote positive social connections, offer an array of speakers on relevant spiritual topics and to encourage people to enjoy the beautiful spaces at the Chiara Center. Following a delicious lunch, speakers will offer a 15-20 minute presentation and discussion period. Participant are then welcome to stay for the duration of the afternoon to walk the grounds or to visit any of the spaces such as the magnificent Church of St. Francis that characterize this as a place of peace and quiet reflection. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

Please click here for a brochure.
 

 

Death Café 
June 11, 2019
10:30 AM or 7:00 PM

At a Death Cafe people drink tea, eat cake and discuss death. As strange as such a gathering might seem, our aim is to increase awareness of death in order to help people make the most of their (finite) lives.

You might be surprised to know that there are Death Cafe groups happening all over the world. These operate well because it is a group-directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is important to know that this will be a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session. Also, there is no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action.

Facilitating the discussion are Jan Conrady, a spiritual director  who serves as a Deaconness at Grace Lutheran Church in Springfield, Illinois and Dan Frachy, Program Director for the Chiara Center and spiritual director. 


Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$10 per person.
 


Silent Directed Retreat
June 16-21, 2019

This Directed Retreat includes solitude and  prayer and  one-on-one daily session with a Spiritual Director. You will be wrapped in the quiet, healing, and harmony of God's presence at Chiara Center. Retreatants may choose three, four, or five days of retreat. The retreat fee is all inclusive of guest room, meals, spiritual direction and spiritual resources.

Pre-registration and payment are required two weeks prior to the retreat.

Click here for a brochure and registration form.

JULY

Companions on the Journey
July 1, 2019

Companions on the Journey is the name of a new lunch-time gathering for seniors held monthly to promote positive social connections, offer an array of speakers on relevant spiritual topics and to encourage people to enjoy the beautiful spaces at the Chiara Center. Following a delicious lunch, speakers will offer a 15-20 minute presentation and discussion period. Participant are then welcome to stay for the duration of the afternoon to walk the grounds or to visit any of the spaces such as the magnificent Church of St. Francis that characterize this as a place of peace and quiet reflection. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

Please click here for a brochure.

 

Ah Day of Quiet
July 9, 2019

Throught the year, we reserve a day for you to come to Chiara Center and reflect on God's goodness in life. Arrive at 9:00 a.m. and leave by 3:00 p.m. refreshed and filled with peace. The day includes a delicious lunch. Massages and appointments with spiritual directors are also available and are requested at the time of registration.

If you unable to attend on these dates, you may arrange your own day of quiet. Please contact us.

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

 

Who Are You as a Christian in an Evolving Universe?
July 12-14, 2019

Thanks to advances in biblical scholarship and scientific discoveries of the 21st century, Christians are better equipped to harmonize who we are and how we fit in this cosmos. During this retreat, participants will explore what science describes as the new universe story that portrays the world as old, vast, dynamic, and interdependent while also contemplating the biblical creation stories a divine revelation capable of giving meaning to scientific discoveries.

Through film, contemplative process, discussion, communion with nature, and ritual, retreatants will investigate some of the discoveries contemporary theologians have made about our God and humanity’s place in the universe. 

Sister Sara Fairbanks, OP, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Homiletics at Aquinas Institute of Theology where she also received her Master of Theology. She earned her Doctorate in Theology at the University of St. Michael’s College, the Toronto School of Theology in Toronto, Canada. Her areas of expertise are homiletics, theology of lay ecclesial ministry, theology of preaching, practical theology, and Christian Anthropology.

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

Cost: $265 overnight; $175 commuter

Please click here for a brochure.

 

Mass on the World – A Multi-Media Experience
July 13, 2019 from 7:00-8:30 p.m.


Through the use of visuals and music, two local dramatists will read excerpts from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s mystical text, Mass on the World. Published six years after his death, this first chapter taken from his 1961 book, Hymn of the Universe reveals how Teilhard, “…used the Roman Catholic Mass as a metaphor for his philosophical understanding of man in relation to the universe. The author explores in poetic prose the unity and sacredness of all creation using concepts like power, Word (logos), and fire to relate to ecclesiastical terms like communion and prayer, and emphasizing the simplicity, coherence and harmony of everything through the universal presence of the Word.”

Cost: $10

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.




AUGUST

Encountering Clare of Assisi: Inspiring Wisdom for Today's Challenges
Conference Retreat featuring Sr. Kathleen Warren, OSF 
August 4-9, 2019

As our culture considers the necessity, value and blessing of the feminine in our world, many are beginning to look anew at Chiara of Assisi with an exciting clarity that befits her name. Even though she humbly referred to herself as the little plant of Francis, new scholarship is revealing an imaginative, committed and powerful woman who worked alongside Saint Francis in the 13th century. Along with Francis, Clare’s words and lived-examples of leadership served to animate a new way of understanding the gospels and how the church might take them to heart with renewed fervor and love. During this conference retreat, we will explore the remarkable life of cofounder of the Franciscan movement, particularly through her own writings and consider her profound relationship with God and Agnes of Prague.  Retreatants will leave with a sense of how Clare’s life resulted in a most poignant spirituality that speaks well in our time.

Cost for this retreat is $600.00 for overnight guests and $380.00 for commuters.

Please click here for a brochure and registration form.

217-523-0901 or email.

 

Companions on the Journey
August 5, 2019

Companions on the Journey is the name of a new lunch-time gathering for seniors held monthly to promote positive social connections, offer an array of speakers on relevant spiritual topics and to encourage people to enjoy the beautiful spaces at the Chiara Center. Following a delicious lunch, speakers will offer a 15-20 minute presentation and discussion period. Participant are then welcome to stay for the duration of the afternoon to walk the grounds or to visit any of the spaces such as the magnificent Church of St. Francis that characterize this as a place of peace and quiet reflection. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

Please click here for a brochure.


Introduction to Clare of Assisi
August 7, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.


Sister Kathy Warren will introduce participants to Clare of Assisi and offer some of the insights that are being presented during the Conference Retreat.

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$10 per person.

 

Celebrating the Sultan and the Saint
August 13, 2019


800 years ago, an event occurred that brought clarity to how enemies could break through the violence and distrust to build a hopeful future. In August 1219, St. Francis of Assisi and Brother Illuminato traveled to Damietta, Egypt for what is recognized as a moment that sparked peace amidst the ill-fated 5th crusade against the Muslims. The encounter between St. Francis and the Sultan Malek Al Kamil not only created two kindred spirits, but it also influenced how the armies were treated at a moment toward the end of this conflict.
 
In a partnership with the Islamic Society of Greater Springfield, we will present the docudrama “The Sultan and the Saint” (60 minutes) followed by discussion facilitated by Ali Nizamuddin and Dan Frachey. We begin with an authentic Afghani dinner catered by the Sameem Restaurant, St. Louis. The hope for this evening is to bring together Muslims, Christians, and other people of goodwill to celebrate our commonalities.

Dr. Ali M. Nizamuddin is the Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois-Springfield. He is recognized as an authoritative voice who is called upon to represent the Islamic Society of Greater Springfield.

Dan Frachey serves as the Chiara Center Program Director and is involved in interracial and interfaith efforts within the Springfield Community.

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$10 per person.

 

 
SEPTEMBER

Tai Chi Classes
September 5, 12, 19,26, 2020

Instructor Cindy Cannamela will offer the practice of Tai Chi which bringstogether mindful, gentle, and circular movements that are performed with a relaxed tempo. During the experience, mind, and body become more integrated while helping to improve balance, strengthen and mobilize joints and muscles, lower heart rate, and boost the immune system. Participants will learn how to access maximum vitality through this mindful attention to posture, movement, breath, and awareness that can be performed sitting or standing. Each session is four classes and will be offered on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Please click here for a brochure and reservation form.
 
Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

Cost is $60 for four-class session or $17 drop-in fee
 

Companions on the Journey
September 9, 2019

Companions on the Journey is the name of a new lunch-time gathering for seniors held monthly to promote positive social connections, offer an array of speakers on relevant spiritual topics and to encourage people to enjoy the beautiful spaces at the Chiara Center. Following a delicious lunch, speakers will offer a 15-20 minute presentation and discussion period. Participant are then welcome to stay for the duration of the afternoon to walk the grounds or to visit any of the spaces such as the magnificent Church of St. Francis that characterize this as a place of peace and quiet reflection. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

Please click here for a brochure.

 


Food & Faith Dinner Series
Racial Reconciliation: Continuing Along the Moral Arc of Justice
September 26, 2019 - 6:00 PM


To set the tone for this series, Kathryn Harris and Dan Frachey will encourage a level of intentionality that all participants will engage in table conversations with those of another racial identity. Whether you are a novice or veteran at interracial conversations, our hope is to forge new understanding through these guided conversations so that all would resolve to more actively help to dismantle systemic racism given the present social climate in our community.

Kathryn Harris, former Library Services Director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and reenactor of four historic 19th century African American women: Harriet Tubman, Jarena Lee, Phoebe Florville, and Elizabeth Keckley.

Dan Frachey serves as the Chiara Center Program Director and is involved in interracial and interfaith efforts within the Springfield community.

The cost is $20 per person.

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

 


OCTOBER
 

Companions on the Journey
October 7, 2019 - 11:30 AM

Companions on the Journey is the name of a lunch-time gathering for seniors held monthly to promote positive social connections, offer an array of speakers on relevant spiritual topics and to encourage people to enjoy the beautiful spaces at the Chiara Center. Following a delicious lunch, speakers will offer a 15-20 minute presentation and discussion period. Participant are then welcome to stay for the duration of the afternoon to walk the grounds or to visit any of the spaces such as the magnificent Church of St. Francis that characterize this as a place of peace and quiet reflection. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

Please click here for a brochure.
 


Forest Healing: The Kinship of Trees
October 18 and 19, 2019


In light of all the complexities that might pull us away from our true selves, we invite those who wish to slow down for an overnight retreat to become immersed in the sacred woods surrounding the Chiara Center. Our aim is to offer full-sensory experiences that can help facilitate emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness. We will embrace the gift of this time to reconnect to the earth along with the community of other souls who value the healing presence of God in each tree that is alive and ready to impart its blessing.

Lisa Rose is a spiritual director and certified Enneagram instructor. For almost 20 years, she has helped to animate the faith community at the St. Thomas More Newman Center in Columbia, MO.


Dan Frachey serves as the Chiara Center Program Director whose ministries include spiritual direction, leading retreats, and serving as Program Chair for the Greater Springfield Interfaith Association.

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$139 per person.


Silent Directed Retreat
October 27 - November 1, 2019

This Directed Retreat includes solitude and  prayer and  one-on-one daily session with a Spiritual Director. You will be wrapped in the quiet, healing, and harmony of God's presence at Chiara Center. Retreatants may choose three, four, or five days of retreat. The retreat fee is all inclusive of guest room, meals, spiritual direction and spiritual resources.

Pre-registration and payment are required two weeks prior to the retreat.

Click here for a brochure and registration form.


Death Café
October 29, 2019
10:30 AM or 7:00 PM

At a Death Cafe people drink tea, eat cake and discuss death. As strange as such a gathering might seem, our aim is to increase awareness of death in order to help people make the most of their (finite) lives.

You might be surprised to know that there are Death Cafe groups happening all over the world. These operate well because it is a group-directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is important to know that this will be a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session. Also, there is no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action.

Facilitating the discussion are Jan Conrady, a spiritual director  who serves as a Deaconness at Grace Lutheran Church in Springfield, Illinois and Dan Frachy, Program Director for the Chiara Center and spiritual director. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

 

Ah Day of Quiet
October 29, 2019

Throught the year, we reserve a day for you to come to Chiara Center and reflect on God's goodness in life. Arrive at 9:00 a.m. and leave by 3:00 p.m. refreshed and filled with peace. The day includes a delicious lunch. Massages and appointments with spiritual directors are also available and are requested at the time of registration.

If you unable to attend on these dates, you may arrange your own day of quiet. Please contact us.

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

 

NOVEMBER

Companions on the Journey
November 4, 2019 - 11:30 AM

Companions on the Journey is the name of a lunch-time gathering for seniors held monthly to promote positive social connections, offer an array of speakers on relevant spiritual topics and to encourage people to enjoy the beautiful spaces at the Chiara Center. Following a delicious lunch, speakers will offer a 15-20 minute presentation and discussion period. Participant are then welcome to stay for the duration of the afternoon to walk the grounds or to visit any of the spaces such as the magnificent Church of St. Francis that characterize this as a place of peace and quiet reflection. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

Please click here for a brochure.

 


Food & Faith Dinner 
Women Make Up Half the Sky: Recognizing Their Qualities and Inequalities
November 7, 2019 - 6:00 PM


Believing that the Church and the culture will only reach their fullness of vibrancy when women’s voices are included, we’ve summoned a few local women for a panel discussion. They will consider some of the deficits that exist to the extent that women’s voices, gifts, perspectives, and influence are not yet fully honored. The hope is for all to have a renewed sense of what is possible in the years ahead when men and women embrace a life-giving model of complementarity.

Vicki Schmidt: Facilitator Executive Director of Theresians International

Sara Unger Isbell: Senior Pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Bloomington

Rikeesha Canon Phelon: Communications consultant, advocate, and speaker on issues of faith, politics, and public theology

Carolyn Bodewes: Retired educator who invests her energies in building up agencies that serve the most vulnerable in our community

The cost is $20 per person.

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

 

DECEMBER

Companions on the Journey
December 2, 2018 - 11:30 AM

Companions on the Journey is the name of a  lunch-time gathering for seniors held monthly to promote positive social connections, offer an array of speakers on relevant spiritual topics and to encourage people to enjoy the beautiful spaces at the Chiara Center. Following a delicious lunch, speakers will offer a 15-20 minute presentation and discussion period. Participant are then welcome to stay for the duration of the afternoon to walk the grounds or to visit any of the spaces such as the magnificent Church of St. Francis that characterize this as a place of peace and quiet reflection. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

Please click here for a brochure.

 

Death Café
December 3, 2019
10:30 AM or 7:00 PM

At a Death Cafe people drink tea, eat cake and discuss death. As strange as such a gathering might seem, our aim is to increase awareness of death in order to help people make the most of their (finite) lives.

You might be surprised to know that there are Death Cafe groups happening all over the world. These operate well because it is a group-directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is important to know that this will be a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session. Also, there is no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action.

Facilitating the discussion are Jan Conrady, a spiritual director  who serves as a Deaconness at Grace Lutheran Church in Springfield, Illinois and Dan Frachy, Program Director for the Chiara Center and spiritual director. 

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

 

Franciscan Nativity Festival
December 6, 2019 2:00 - 7:00 PM
December 7 2019  12:00 - 4:00 PM
December 8, 2019  12:00 - 4:00 PM

Join us for our Annual Franciscan Nativity Festival and experience the deeper meaning of the Incarnation. More than 100 Nativity sets, each with unique history and signficance, are displayed. Free and open the public. The Festival includes a tour of St. Francis of Assisi Church.

 

Winter Solstice Evening
December 21 - 6:30 PM


In recent times, people have turned toward the celebrations of the winter and summer solstices as events that spark the imagination about the absence and the abundance of sunlight. Both Dominican and Franciscan spiritualties acknowledge the ways in which Brother Sun participates in the sacred preaching of creation in accord with the plan set forth by Divine Mystery.

No matter one’s spiritual leanings, this experience allows people to contemplate the goodness of the seasons and how their rhythms form our sense of life’s journey with wonder. The celebration begins at 6:30 p.m. and will include prayer, reflection, sharing, and a meal of soup and bread.   

Reservations are required. 217-523-0901 or email.

$20 per person.

 


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